How To Fix Your Dry, Brittle Hair, Once And For All

Ad failed to load

My hair is worth its weight in gold.

Not because it's particularly perfect — it's not Blake Lively's, after all. But, with the thousands of dollars I've spent dying my strands for nearly a decade, they just might be the most expensive part of me.

Of course, those double processes have taken their toll. My hair, formerly soft and manageable, has transformed into a dry, brittle and thoroughly sad state. It might look good on the outside, but it sure doesn't feel that way. Dry, damaged hair never does.

Ad failed to load

In addition to being a close relative to straw, my hair is thoroughly over me and doesn't want to stay on my head. My roommate can attest to this, as she's been leaving me passive aggressive notes to clean out the shower drain for months.

In an effort to make my hair feel as good as I think it looks, I got in touch with Mia Emilio, senior stylist at Devachan NYC, for some tips on how to give my locks some serious R&R.

If you're over your brittle locks, give these tips a try.

Ad failed to load

My hair is split-end central. Does that mean I have to cut it all off?

In short: yes.

Emilio says split ends are, just like they sound, broken. The only way to get rid of them is to cut them out of your life.

Ad failed to load

“A split end will continue to split,” Emilio explains. “That split end will just continue rising and damaging healthy hair."

Don't think your yearly trims are enough, either. According to Emilio, hair should be cut every three to six months. Fine, more straight textures might even want to spring for one every two months.

Is my hair frizzy because it's dry, or because it hates me?

Dryness and frizz go hand-in-hand, since hair becomes frizzy when it's dehydrated. By infusing moisture back in your hair, you can combat frizz, too.

Ad failed to load

Also, be sure to check the labels on your shampoo.

“Stay away from alcohol, sulfates, silicon,” Emilio says. “They continue to dry out your hair and make you frizzy."

Along with Devacurl's bullsh*t-free No Poo line (which I've praised over and over again), I also love the L'Oreal Paris EverPure line and the Verb Hydrating shampoo. If you've got dough to spend, try the Kérastase Resistance Thérapiste line.

Ad failed to load

DevaCurl No-Poo Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser, $9, AmazonL'Oreal Paris EverPure Moisture Shampoo, $7, Amazon;  Verb Hydrating Shampoo, $14, Amazon

There's more hair in my shower drain than on my head. How do I make my hair stronger, so it's not falling out all the time?

As my glossy-haired editor pointed out, the trick is to just throw all your heat styling tools out the window.

Ad failed to load

“If you're into heat styling, it continues to damage your hair,” warns Emilio. “Keep up with trims, moisturize, deep condition. It helps with the elasticity."

In my experience, going to sleep with wet hair is basically a recipe for your hair to look (and feel) like utter sh*t in the morning. While there are products to combat this (namely, masques for overnight use) I personally am not a fan of having to wash them out when I wake up.

If the washing out part doesn't deter you, my dry, brittle hair is all about once-a-week overnight Olaplex treatments.

Ad failed to load

Alterna Caviar Overnight Hair Rescue, $20, Amazon; Olaplex No.2, $21, Amazon

Or, you know, just invest in a really great shower drain protector so your roommate doesn't kill you.

OXO Good Grips Easy Clean Shower Stall Drain Protector; $10, Amazon

Ad failed to load

We all know our pillowcases are out to kill us. Do the satin kind really make a difference?

Research says silk and satin pillowcases are better for our skin than just plain Jane cotton or a manmade fiber. They're supposed to help smooth out wrinkles and not f*ck up our hair in the AM. Plus, Victoria's Secret models use them, so they must be good — right?

“I recently purchased one myself a few weeks ago,” Emilio says. “I ordered a silk bonnet and a silk pillowcase and I have to sleep with at least one!"

Ad failed to load

Bonnets are great for helping with tangled strands. Hair gets caught under our heads and shoulders when we sleep, which leads to tangling and makes it prone to breaking all-together.

Well, if the pros are using it, right?

Jumbo Satin Sleep Cap, $5, Carol Wright Gifts

Ad failed to load

What if my roots are super oily and my ends are extra dry?

For me, hair is like that one friend who can't make up her mind on what to order on Seamless. Noodles! No, pizza! Maybe sushi!

The trick to dealing with hair that can't make up its mind is to treat each part differently. Emilio suggests cleansing the scalp with shampoo and putting conditioner just on your ends, so the part of the shaft that needs hydration gets it. The conditioner also acts as a layer of protection for the part of your hair that isn't necessarily dirty and needs the extra dose of moisture.

Ad failed to load

Additionally, be sure to stay away from ingredients like sulfates.

“They can make your oil glands produce more oil,” Emilio says. “They're so much more stripping and your oil glands are like, 'Oh my God, we need to make more oil!'"

That oil builds up on your scalp and not your ends, which creates the two textural differences. Basically, treat your roots and your ends like two finicky children.

Ad failed to load

What do masks do? Do they help?

My philosophy when shopping for hair masks is pretty self-explanatory: Get one that has the consistency of mayo and smells like roses. The combo will mysteriously work wonders for your hair. Hey, I haven't gone bald yet!

“Always check for ingredients,” Emilio says. “And stay away from silicon and alcohol."

Ad failed to load

While many masks are sulfate-free, not many are also free of alcohol and silicon. Carol's Daughter makes a great Black Vanilla hair smoothie which I'm all about. According to a friend, works wonders on natural hair, too.

Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie, $13, Amazon

If you're the kind of girl who would much rather DIY, making a hair mask is easier than making a salad.

Ad failed to load

Emilio suggests mixing avocado and coconut oil together before adding them into your conditioner.

"Bananas, eggs — these are things you can mash up and get in your hair," she offers. "A ripe avocado, mixed with egg and coconut oil is great, too."

Not a fan of waiting in the shower until the mask sets? No problem. Just sleep with it overnight and rinse it out in the morning. Just don't forget to wear a shower cap.

Ad failed to load

Is my hair dry because I wash it too much, or not enough?

All those scary articles you might've read about the pitfalls of washing your hair too much are true. That extra 'poo is doing more harm than good.

“You don't need to use a cleanser every day,” Emilio explains. “Two to three times a week, tops. Drier hair types should do once a week. But, condition daily or every other day."

Ad failed to load

Conditioning helps hydrate the hair, while shampooing does the opposite and strips the hair.

What's the deal with protein? Does my hair need a steak dinner?

Protein has become a big buzz-word in the beauty world. The word on the street is that our hair needs a bit of extra meaty love from protein-infused styling products.

Ad failed to load

Emilio calls bullsh*t. Our hair is already largely made up of protein, and we don't need to be adding even more. Your hair can stick to salads and leafy greens.

In short, there is no hair that's not worth saving. My dry, ultra-damaged locks are beyond the point of no return, but with a bit of R&R, they might one day resemble what they looked like those 10-odd years ago.

And if not, I can always get a Beyoncé-worthy wig, like Channing Tatum.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

This New Snapchat Feature Is Going To Make Your Stories Look Even Better

Giphy is officially taking over social media, and I'm not upset about it. After invading Instagram stories with funny animated stickers, the company partnered with Snapchat — and now, we're finally able to fill our Snaps with hilarious GIFs. In other…
By Amanda Fama

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & Luckily, It's All Good Things

Pat yourself on the back because you survived not only one but two major eclipses. The last few weeks have been one obstacle after another but you made it. You dealt with the pain, held it together, and prevailed. Now, your February 19, 2018 weekly h…
By Roya Backlund

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

I Tried Vegan "Spacepaste" & It Looks Like Straight-Up LED Lights On Your Face

As you might have noticed, 2018 is the year for glitter. So many brands have been releasing shining, shimmering formulations like they're going out of style. We're not even halfway through February, and Lemonhead LA has already launched the best glit…
By Kim Carpluk

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Everyone Is So Thirsty Over This “Photo” Of Obama With Facial Hair

It's been a hot minute since President Barack Obama left the Oval office (though it feels like ages), and a lot of us miss him dearly. After leaving the White House, the 44th president remained out of the public eye for a little while, decompressing …
By Daniella Bondar

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas